What next? Fear and anxiety grip top State officers
12 months ago, 7 Jan 00:14
Shock and confusion gripped Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) as anxiety amongst Principals Secretaries (PSs) mutated into panic after it emerged President Kenyatta could have lost confidence in more than three quarters of his Cabinet. President Kenyatta’s decision to fire 13 CSs painted an image of pending blood bath for PS’s and parastatal chiefs as he moves to form a government that he hopes will deliver on his legacy aspirations. Some ministers and their aides have hitherto rejected the idea that an axe had fallen on them. Speaking in unobtrusive tones, they insist there is still a chance for survival because the entire Cabinet is yet to be constituted. “The President has not sacked me, he only mentioned a few colleagues he hopes to retain in their dockets and appointed a few others. Until the whole process is completed, you can’t say I have been sacked. I could be moved to another docket you know,” said a sitting Cabinet Secretary who was not among the retained six. On Friday, President Kenyatta nominated three new CSs and retained six. “I wish to state that I am retaining the following persons in my Cabinet and shall re-assign them accordingly their duties in accordance with Article 152 (5) (A) and these are Henry Rotich (Treasury), Najib Balala (Tourism), James Macharia (Transport), Fred Matiang’i (Interior and education (acting), Charles Keter (Energy) and Joseph Mucheru (ICT),” the President said on Friday. Yesterday, in what many interpreted as a public relations and emotional management gimmick, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu sent a statement to media houses saying all CSs are still in office until the process of forming a new Cabinet is completed. Manoah’s statement seemed to suggest that no CS has so far been sacked. “This is to clarify that the Cabinet Secretaries currently in office remain so, as instructed in a memorandum from the Head of Public Service in December, until otherwise advised,” stated Esipisu in a statement yesterday. He continued: “In the coming days, the President will complete the task of assembling the team of office, guided by merit, integrity, commitment to service and in terms of the Constitution.” But in what paints a picture of advisors in darkness, two highly placed sources within State House who refused to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter gave two opposing views, effectively creating the impression that President Kenyatta is keeping his moves tightly guarded. “Listen, let me tell you. Government does not fire people, it omits their names from the list of the appointees. I am sure you have seen that in the past. So if your colleagues have been formally informed that they have been retained, what is left for the rest who are also sitting in Cabinet?” posed one source. This view was however sharply contradicted by another source from within Government who maintained that some of the CSs -- among them Eugene Wamalwa, Amina Mohammed, Mwangi Kiunjuri and Dan Kazungu -- though not mentioned by the President on Friday, had done ...
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